We developed an automatic morphometric reconstruction pipeline, Pop-Rec, and used it to study the morphologies of cortical cholinergic VIP/ChAT interneurons (VChIs). Cholinergic networks control high cognitive functions, but their local modulation and stress-driven plasticity patterns remained elusive. Reconstructing thousands of local VChIs registered to their exact coordinates in multiple cleared murine cortices highlighted distinct populations of bipolar and multipolar VChIs which differed in their dendritic spatial organization. Following mild unilateral whisker deprivation, Pop-Rec found both ipsi-and contra-lateral VChI dendritic arborization changes. Furthermore, RNA-seq of FACS-sorted VChIs showed differentially expressed dendritic, synapse and axon-modulating transcripts in whisker-deprived mice. Indicating novel steady-state morphological roles, those genes also clustered distinctly in naive single cell VChIs. This VChIs morphe-ome atlas is the first example of unbiased analysis of neuronal populations and holds the possibility to compare neuronal structure-function relationships across experimental conditions.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience